Melton Mowbray Amateur Radio Society (MMARS) has been at the forefront of Amateur Radio in the area for over 50 years. Amateur Radio Enthusiasts were experimenting in the town as early as the 1920's and following a renewed surge in the hobby after the Second World War, local amateurs began to increase and in the Summer of 1958, a few of these local amateurs, together with a close association at the Technical College Annex, Kings Street, Melton Mowbray, got together and MMARS came into being.
The Founding Fathers of MMARS were: Sydney Clark (G8CZ), Douglas Wyndham Lilley (G3FDF), Harold Hunt (G2FUM), Lawrence J. Fisher (G4MK), John Leslie Bowley (G3FXP) & Richard "Dick" Winters (G3NVK). Sadly, all have now joined the ranks of "Silent Keys", but to many of those who knew them, they were Pioneers of the hobby in the area and the legacy they leave behind is MMARS.
In 1969, the hitherto unwritten Constitution was promulgated and the society (MMARS) became affiliated to the National Society, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).
Since its formation, MMARS has held its meetings on the third Friday of the Month, with the exception of July & August when likely attendee's are fewer on account of annual holidays, and its AGM is held at the September Meeting.
MMARS are the holders of the Callsign's (G4FOX & G7FOX), significant in that Melton Mowbray was the renowned centre of Fox Hunting in England, the late Doug Lilley (G3FDF) one of the founders of MMARS, was equally proud of his own Callsign, Phonetically, "FOX - DOG - FOX" for the same reason.
The society has benefited from having a very dedicated group of Contest Minded Members and has a fully equipped modern mobile station. Support is also given to (RAYNET), originally known as "The Radio Amateur Emergency Network" (RAEN) and an Amateur Radio Club at the Melton Mowbray Upper School, formerly, King Edward VII Grammar School, Callsign (M0MKE), was born from an idea arising within the society, with the aim of encouraging pupils to develop their interest in Radio Communication even further.
For its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2008, MMARS was allocated the special Callsign (GB5FOX).
Amateur Radio has its roots in the 19th Century, developed along with radio communications in the 20th Century and is now a vibrant and exciting hobby for the 21st Century. What other hobby can link you with other like-minded individuals around the world and even enable you to make contact with the Astronauts on the International Space Station
Amateur Radio encompasses all methods of Radio Communication from working through satellites, bouncing signals off the moon, microwave links, television to simple voice contacts and Morse code is still very much alive in Amateur Radio. You can take part in contests, radio orienteering, remote Island contacts and Countries all around the World.
Amateur Radio has something for anyone who has the slightest interest in communication and has even provided a platform to an interesting and exciting career, so aptly put by the RSGB, the National Society for the Hobby and taking that first step towards getting on the air as a Licensed Amateur is not as difficult or costly as one might expect. Entry for all newcomers to the hobby is via the Foundation Licence, from here you can if you wish to, move on to the Intermediate Licence and then to your Full Licence. Each level has to be achieved before the next can be taken and each level gives you a different level of privileges.
The Foundation Licence Training Course is an integral part of obtaining your Foundation Licence. Most of the training is practical with a small amount of Radio and Electronics Theory, but nothing to be worried about, even if you are a complete novice. It’s mostly to get you to appreciate things like using the right fuse in your equipment and how to build an antenna to get the most out of your station.
The courses are run throughout the year at various venues all over the country, they are run in a friendly, informal atmosphere and full details can be found on the RSGB website. For details of our training program, visit our "Training" page.